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It is not true that we always ate that amount of sugar and "somehow live". Today, sugar consumption is on average 4-5 times higher than in the times of our grandparents' youth. And it is the children who eat the most sugar.
It is accepted (and it is very difficult to fight this myth) that if it is not sweet, then the child will most likely not eat. And the toddler eats not only the sugar we see, which we add ourselves, but also the "hidden", invisible at first glance.
White sugar makes you feel better, it's addictive
There is nothing to demonize the topic. Sweets are not bad in themselves, especially those made at home. The problem is their excess. And that it is very difficult to control the amount of sugar, which we eat and which goes along with daily snacks and main dishes to the stomach of our children.
Why is this happening?
- because manufacturers often use catwalks to confuse us. They describe the composition of the product in such a way that it appears that there is less white sugar. They use sweeteners, additives, which, when added together, suddenly turn out that the "healthy" product contains 30% white sugar,
- because producers, responding to market demand, offer us more and more ready-made meals and snacks with a lot of white sugar,
- because we like the sweet
- sweet snacks and dishes give us energy (for a while) and improve our mood (also for a moment),
- after eating sweets in our bloodstream, the amount of endorphins increases, a substance that works similarly to morphine - for pain and relief,
- because after eating something sweet, we feel like another snack.
- with the increasing amount of sugar in the diet, the demand for sugar increases, we start to accept more and more sweet snacks, it is more difficult for us to achieve the effect of "satisfying the sweet appetite".
Most people don't know that excess sugar in the diet has a direct impact on the body's immunity. Even for a few hours after eating a sweet meal, the immune system works differently. In other words - The daily diet has a direct impact on how often our children get sick and how quickly their bodies are able to cope with the infection.
One can accept this fact and try to change the way children eat, or get nervous at the very thought of how difficult it is to save a toddler from excess sugar by waving his hand, recognizing that we still have no influence on it. Regardless of your decision, it's worth knowing what happens when our children's diet is "too sweet."
How does sugar reduce the effectiveness of the immune system?
According to Health Services with University of Columbia, after eating 100 grams of sugar (this is what we find in two bottles of "100% fruit juice", three muffins) white blood cells responsible for defense responses are 40% less effective against bacteria and viruses. In other words, a sweet meal can "paralyze" your immune system for up to 5 hours. If the child comes in contact with the hazard during this time, they will probably get sick. His natural responses to protect him from the threat will not work properly.
Unfortunately, that's not all. Linus Pauling, an American physicist and chemist, proved that white sugar interferes with the effects of vitamin C, which protects the body against infections. What miracle? It turns out that white blood cells that need vitamin C to fight bacteria and viruses effectively can't get it when your child's diet is too high in sugar. This is because sugar is similar in chemical structure to vitamin C. In other words, sugar competes directly with vitamin C for a place in immune cells. The more sugar is present in a child's diet, the less vitamin C can get into the immune system, the weaker the immune response.
Sugar and sugar - beware, it's not the same
It is worth emphasizing clearly that something else are natural simple and complex sugars (fiber) found in fruits and vegetables that provide the body with important vitamins and minerals, and something else is white refined sugar that carries no valuable nutrients only calories.
When a child eats an apple, it provides the body with sugars, but with it important nutrients enter the bloodstream. When, too often, instead of the example apple, the child reaches for lollipops, sugar is introduced into the body, but there is a lack of vitamins and minerals that the body needs. What happens then? To put it simply, the body "takes" necessary for functioning components from the places where they are stored: from bones, tissues, internal organs. Unfortunately, that's not all. There remains the problem of "empty calories", i.e. refined sugar, the excess of which must be removed somehow. The kidneys are charged, which must make more urine to "blur" and remove excess sugar. Of course, this process can not necessarily run perfectly - the result is excess kilograms (caused by fluctuating blood sugar levels and too much appetite) and dehydration, which also adversely affects the overall functioning of the body.
What to eat to get sick less?
Of course, you can go to the pharmacy and buy "syrup for immunity", pretending that we do not see sugar or other sweetener on a high place on the label. You can give your child this "tasty product" and be happy that we have fulfilled our parental responsibility, but the truth is that ... we act only illusively.
There is no other way to improve immunity than to verify what your child eats. This is a harder but more effective solution that has invaluable benefits.
The child's diet should contain:
- Orange fruits and vegetables (e.g. carrots), which provide beta carotene, this component later converts the body into vitamin A, supporting the immune and respiratory systems,
- red fruits and vegetables (tomato, raspberries, strawberries), which provide vitamin C necessary for the smooth functioning of the immune system,
- dark green vegetables - kale and spinach containing beta-carotene and vitamin E to help repel the body of viruses or bacteria.
It is worth realizing one more thing. Switching to a more balanced menu may not be easy, but profitable. For some time, a child addicted to sweets can protest and refuse food. This is a normal reaction. However, if you manage to survive this crisis, you will soon find that if the body receives all the vitamins and minerals it needs, it will not be desperate for sugar, highly processed products that it "associates" with an energy injection, unfortunately consisting only of empty calories ...
For more on building immunity in children, click.